Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Living and Learning Together: Our Family Room, School Room, & Office

Now, every homeschool family knows that "school" doesn't just happen in one room. There's the kitchen for science experiments, the dining room table, the comfiest couch for reading aloud, a bedroom rug (comfier for those who like to spread out their work), outside for exploring, gardening, building forts...I could go on.

Learning isn't confined to a school room. (See my post from last year, when we were living in a rental: Homeschooling Without Borders.)

I know all those things, and yet, for the first time in our family's life, we have a dedicated space for most of our school items. This is a great blessing, even if we don't "do" all our school here (whatever that means).
This is a finished basement space in our split-level house. It has to serve as our home office (Philip and I both work from home), our family room for watching movies or playing Playmobil (in fact, it may be more accurate to call this our Playmobil Room), and for housing most, if not all, of our school supplies.
This curtain wire from IKEA helps display some of the copious amount of artwork our daughters produce. (See the white board easel? That's another IKEA find and you never know what you might see there...)
We finally have a nice big space for a bulletin board - currently displaying a U.S map, a number line, and our pocket charts for flash cards. (Sweet Pea's sight words go on the red one, Polly and Tigger's Latin cards go on the blue)
I still love our IKEA Expedit for holding anything you can think of: school books, Philip's games (sometimes this place looks like a game store), games for the girls, scrapbooks, records, and yes, more Playmobil. (The plane and cars usually live up here to keep them away from the iBoy's reach. iBoy = Godzilla, as far as Playmobil world is concerned.)
Then we have these lockers. I found them on Craigslist and bought them for $20 from a guy demolishing a warehouse. I have plans to refinish them, but I kind of love them the way they are. We'll see which one of my impulses wins out.

Right now each girl has her own locker and I have two for my teacher's guides and some manipulatives. There are alphabet magnets on one side and more art displayed on both sides. Markers and some science equipment are on top, out of reach of the younger two.
We also keep all our craft supplies here. See the sewing machine there? It's theoretically more accessible there but that theory has yet to be tested since I haven't sewn a stitch since we've lived here.
This shelf (to the right of the TV in the first picture) holds a lot of our favorite read alouds, along with board and foam puzzles for the iBoy. Right now, he dumps the pieces. But soon enough he'll learn to put them together.

The girls also have this desk (Polly did the painting herself!) in their room so someone can work away from the crowd, if necessary.
And then there are the educational items elsewhere around the house, like these art books:
Which we keep on this shelf in our living room:
To see how we built this, check out my post: From Bannister to Built-Ins. (The picture above is from that post.)

I've shown you all that, but the truth is you can usually find us at our dining room table for book work. Some things, no matter how much space you have, never change.

Where do you "do" school? How do you organize all your homeschool materials?
Linking up with:
Living and Learning at Home


Melissa N. said...

LOVE LOVE the spaces...especially those lockers great find!

MacKenzie said...

Really jealous of the lockers, I like them just as they are. And you're whole space is great. When we finally finally finished up the basement rooms, our big project is to make the large area into a family/office/school space. We've got 2 years before Lucy's first grade year so theoretically it could happen in time :-)

marshan said...

Love the Space!! And Don't change the lockers. They are Awesome!!!

Jessica N. said...

I agree with you! School takes up the whole house and the yard!! Fun to have special places though!!

Deb said...

Hopefully this comment doesn't show up a million times, stupid Google is giving me fits.

ANYway - if you need to maximize the space in your lockers, try these shelves: http://www.lockershelfco.com/ I put them in our lockers, and they are great.

Karen said...

Thanks! I was excited to get them. :)

Karen said...

Thanks. I see all the bright, beautiful homeschool rooms on Pinterest and I feel a twinge of jealousy. And then I look around and see that we finally have space for {almost} all of our stuff and it makes me thankful again. Your basement will be fantastic when you all get done with it!

Karen said...

Thanks, Marshan! I'm definitely leaning toward "as is". It may be lazy, but I can live with that. :)

Karen said...

Agreed - just having a space to store the stuff is a blessing.

Karen said...

Those are neat, hadn't seen them before. I have some wire inserts in two of them that I found at the thrift store but I definitely need to think about getting those shelves.

Amy Maze said...

I love those Expedit shelves. We have many of them in our home =) I love all your spaces! We have a school room, but do school all over as well. I could really use a few days to get things organized, though =)

Elisabeth said...

Love that you finally have more room!

Annette said...

nicely designed space. :) Having room for a couch must be a boon. :)

I am Annette @ A net in time (http://anetintimeschooling.weebly.com/a-net-in-time-blog)

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